Everyone wants a large following on Twitter, but you should aim to get target followers that you can talk to and build a relationship with not just aimlessly attract irrelevant followers.
Your network of followers is largely built on the network of people and businesses you follow. Sent a tweet announcing who you want to follow and why that will help strangers to comprehend why they’re being followed by a stranger. Start with colleagues or industry experts in your field. Not only may you have access to their expertise, you may begin to develop a professional network. Start engaging them in conversation and people will associate you with them and decided to follow you as well.
As you surf the Internet for business or pleasure, you will notice twitter icons on many blogs and websites. If you find the blogs or websites interesting and helpful, you will probably find their tweets equally interesting and useful. Follow them and if you notice anything about their website that you paticularly like or dislike, point it out to them in a friendly manner.
Invite your contacts to join you on Twitter. Be sure to promote your Twitter account. Add Twitter icons and links to your website, blog and even your offline marketing material such as business cards, brochures etc.
Develop a “follower chain”. Twitter displays followers of each Twitter account, and followers will often have shared interests. Browse through your contacts’ contacts to meet new people. Don’t forget to check out your competitors’ contacts.
Use Twellow, the directory for Twitter users. Users are categorized by industry, which will make it easy to locate others in your field.
Twitter Tools can also help you to identify potential connections. Twitter Search can help you locate tweets by topic. Nearby Tweets can help you locate people in your geographic area. Tweet Deck can help you filter search results for the most relevant posts.
Accept suggestions from Mister Tweet. Using profile information the system will suggest potential followers.
Before jumping in and posting, lurk for at least a week to get a feel for the system. Then, don’t jump in with a series of blatant marketing messages. Look for questions you can answer or discussions you can contribute to using the search or your timeline. Share valuable content and links that is helpful to people in your network.
Looking for the right content may seem like a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. You can share pictures or interesting videos. Do you have industry websites or blogs that you follow? You can post news items, and add your own comments to start a dialogue. You can ask questions and ask for feedback. Interesting quotes are a popular choice, as well as contests. Event and product pitches are acceptable in moderation. It’s generally a good idea to emphasize “value” content and build trust before tweeting your marketing message. Finally, a “what you’re doing” post adds depth and realism so that followers see you as a real person, not just another marketer.
Twitter is best used as a communications tool to network and build relationships. Try NOT to think of Twitter as just another broadcast medium.